DEBATE-Kansas City Sponsor Public Debate with Black Archives of Mid-America

On June 23rd 2012, DEBATE-Kansas City proudly sponsored a public debate hosted by the Black Archive of Mid-America. Four bright young debaters from Sumner & Lincoln Academy’s faced off over the contentious issue of year-round schooling.

Sumner’s Sedrick Weaver & Ben Franco

Prior to the debate Sedrick Weaver (Sumner) and Jared Freemon (Lincoln) were interviewed on Generation Rap, a teen talk show that was broadcast by HOT 103 Jamz. During the show both students explained why they enjoyed debate and also help set the stage for the public debate that was to follow.

The debate celebrated the grand opening of the Black Archives of the Midwest. Executive Director of the Black Archive, Dr. Doretha Williams and Director of DEBATE-Kansas City, Gabe Cook, developed the idea of hosting a debate showcasing the two most prestigious, historically black high schools in the area.  Not only did the debate celebrate the rich tradition of debate excellence in Kansas City, the discussion over the ever important topic of education was also a public service to the community.

The debate lasted a little over an hour and was very well-received by the audience.  Mr. Cook noted that Sedrick Weaver and Ben Franco of Sumner Academy, who affirmed a switch to year-round schools, “Did an excellent job arguing that US educational system is desperately in need of reform.”

Jared Freemon and Corey Fisher of Lincoln Academy also presented a strong case against the notion of year-round schools. “Corey Fisher gave a powerful speech that challenged the idea that school is the only place valuable learning takes place. He made a strong argument about the value of summer jobs and enrichment programs,” said Gabe Cook.

Questions and discussion after the debate lasted almost twice as long as was originally scheduled, proving once again that debate is a

Lincoln’s Corey Fisher & Jared Freemon

powerful activity full capable of grabbing the public’s attention. Of course it helps when you have four highly talented debaters and topic that engages multiple points of view.

All four debaters were very excited to be a part of such a significant community event and Jared Freemon noted that, “It was a real

honor to be on the radio and put on this public debate for the Black Archives. It feels good to represent my school and DEBATE-KC in a public debate.”

Sedrick Weaver shared the same enthusiasm noting that, “The Black Archive preserves our history and DEBATE-Kansas City teaches us how make history.”

It was widely agreed that the Black Archive and DKC should partner again to expand public debate in Kansas City.